Kaduna State Gov. Nasir El-Rufai has said the state would support the Ministry of Water Resources to implement the national programme to end open defecation tagged “Clean Nigeria: Use The Toilet.”
El-Rufai said this during a visit to the Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said he was conscious of the high level of open defecation in his state and that the state had started work on that.
The Governor said the state government had plans to build more public toilets all over the state especially in markets and schools to reduce the level of open defecation.
“I want to assure you that you have a willing partner to ensuring the eradication of this practice, within the shortest time possible, of the issue of open defecation in the country.
“Kaduna state will adopt this national campaign and we will tag ours Clean Kaduna: Use the Toilet.
“We look forward to receiving your team when you come for your advocacy visit and I will try to get all the traditional rulers, local government chairmen as well as religious leaders in attendance because this requires a multi-pronged, multilateral approach to resolve this issue.”
He noted that one of the challenges in dealing with water and sanitation was the increasing population as against the roll out of infrastructure.
The Governor said such reality must keep policy makers on their feet saying if we have 20 toilets today next year we have to add more because every year Nigeria produces eight million babies and these babies means more toilets.
“It is major challenge; if India can do it I am sure Nigeria can do it under your leadership.
“With the support of all state governments Nigeria can become open defecation free in the shortest time possible.
El-Rufai earlier thanked the minster for his support in enabling them to commission the Zaria water supply project while he solicited the support of the ministry as regards the Greater Kaduna water supply scheme.
He said the water supply in Kaduna state was low explaining that the state was home to about three million people but the water supply capacity was for less than a million people.
“So it is our hope that we work with the ministry to begin a project that in a few years eventually will rid kaduna of its perennial water supply problems.
“ Kaduna state is projected to have about five million people by 2030, so we must think ahead and begin work ahead and this is one of the reasons I came to solicit the support of the minister.”
He also said the state government had domesticated the National Water and Sanitation policy .
Earlier, the Minister while giving an overview of the Clean Nigeria Campaign said the ministry was in the process of starting its advocacy tour on the National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) action plan to all the state governors.
He said the plan was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2018 and he also declared a state of emergency on the WASH sector.
The Minster said the ministry was in the process of staring its campaign against open defecation which was a subset of the National WASH Action Plan.
According to him, we saw a need to interact with the state governors to solicit their support on the issue so that we can get our targets on SDG 6.
He said on Nov. 19, the President would launch the campaign on open defecation which is the “Clean Nigeria Campaign: Use The Toilet” and called on state governors to be part of it and support the campaign.
“We are seeking for your support to partake in the launching in November and we hope you will join us in this campaign.”
Adamu said present statistics showed that 13 out of the 774 local governments areas in Nigeria were certified as open defecation free, however, there were thousands of communities across the country that were open defecation free.
He noted that by Oct. 2, Nigeria would be the number one country practicing open defecation because India was exiting, stressing the need for the county to work hard to get out of it as soon as possible.(NAN)